Pope Francis skipped breakfast with the congressional leaders, instead he visited a homeless shelter in Washington, D.C., empathizing with those there, saying that Jesus knew what it was to live homeless. It was his way of declaring his non-political priorities. In showing his love, he greeted each homeless person individually. Click for homeless story.
1. The Pope is at home with the homeless
2. Giving America tough love
“Pope Francis is the ultimate Washington outsider. His priorities are not Washington’s priorities,” said John Carr, director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University. “We think we are the center of the world. We are not the center of Pope Francis’ world. He is frankly more comfortable in the slums of Argentina than in the corridors of power.”
“He is a walking, talking parable,” said Carr. “This is a Pope who looks at the world from the bottom up and from the outside in. I think he brings to Congress and the White House a different perspective than they are used to hearing.”
“He is coming to the richest country in the world. I believe he is going to challenge us to say with that comes great responsibility,” said Rudy Lopez, executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice.
“He is a good teacher,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday. “He knows one of the more effective ways to teach is to reaffirm what is good, to congratulate us on what we are doing well.”
For instance, he is likely to praise American liberty, democracy, opportunity and religious and racial plurality. “When you do that, a savvy person says, ‘Boy, that’s sure good of him that he is affirming what we do good. But on the other hand, are we doing it as well as we should?’ ‘” Dolan said. “There’s where the examination of conscience comes in.”
“An unfettered pursuit of money rules. The service of the common good is left behind,” the Pope said at a conference in Bolivia in July. “Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity.”
Six of the current GOP presidential candidates, including Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie, are practicing Catholics. They have all said that while they take their religious teaching from the Pope, they look for political guidance elsewhere.
“The Pope is a very independent figure, and we know from his previous travels that we don’t know what he is going to say until he says it,” said Charles Kupchan, National Security Council senior director for European Affairs, which includes the Holy See. via KUTV
3. The Pope is a very independent figure